(CNN) -- Former President Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan was led away in handcuffs Tuesday after six hours of questioning by prosecutors.

The ex-president held his cuffed hands up for journalists to see and shouted "Political persecution! Long live Taiwan !"

Taiwan's Central News Agency said anti-corruption prosecutors are investigating the ex-president "over his alleged misuse of his discretionary 'state affairs fund' and a money-laundering case involving the former first family."

Prosecutors have asked a judge to formally detain the ex-president, the news agency reported. They said "it is necessary to take Chen into custody while they continue their probe because the crimes Chen is suspected of committing are felonies," according to the news agency.

On Monday, Chen told reporters he believed he would be detained, saying authorities could "lock up my body, not my heart."

Chen insists the charges are politically motivated, said Jonathan Lai of ETTV, a CNN affiliate in Taiwan .

Chen's political party favors independence for Taiwan while the administration of the President Ma Ying-jeou is keen on closer ties with mainland China .

ETTV reported the former president had been detained on charges of corruption, money laundering and hiding secret documents


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